Acts 5:16-21 ESV
The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.
When our actions are truly righteous, not in our own eyes, but in the eyes of God, and we are doing good, in obedience to our Lord, there will be people among us who are doing evil who will be jealous, resentful, and bitter against us, like Cain was against his brother, and like the Pharisees were against Jesus. And, so they will come against us in one way or another.
The Lord may not always rescue us from their evil attacks against us, but he will deliver us from the fear of them, and he will give us the courage we need to keep doing what he has called us to do. For, not anyone can thwart God’s purposes. He will prevail! If he wants us teaching his word, he will make the way for us. If he wants the words he gives us to say to get to a particular group of people, he will make the way for that to happen.
In other words, we should never be discouraged by what humans may do to us. Our Lord is watching over us, and he will provide for all that we need to keep on doing his will. No human has any power over us except for what God allows, and he allows for a purpose and a time. God is greater, he is more powerful, and he is fully capable of making sure his will is accomplished. So, we don’t ever have to fear humans.
So, no matter how much persecution we may face in this life for following Jesus Christ with our lives, and for speaking boldly the truths of his word, we need to keep getting out there, and we need to keep speaking the truth, i.e. the words of life from the Scriptures. And, we must not be afraid.
Acts 5:21-26 ESV
Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.” Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
God is not bound by prison doors. He is not limited by human beings in their deceitful scheming. He can block any weapon forged against us. He can protect us from all evil. For, he is still all powerful and all knowing. And, he is still a God of miracles. So, nothing is too hard for him. He is still God!!
So, when Satan throws his fiery darts of fear against us, we need to fight them off with the truth of God’s word. We need to put on that armor of God with which to fight off the devil’s schemes against us. And, one of his biggest weapons he uses against us is fear. For, he wants us to doubt God. And, he wants us to be afraid, for then he has us where we are the most vulnerable.
Now, we are certainly to use good judgment and discernment, but we are not to be people who walk around afraid of everything, thinking that if we just do enough of this or that that somehow that is going to keep us safe. God is the one to keep us safe! We need to trust him with our lives and stop believing all this fear propaganda that has us running around like chickens with our heads cut off fearing everything that comes near us. Trust HIM!
Acts 5:27-32 ESV
And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
There are a lot of draconian measures being waged against us, the people of this earth right now. And, I believe it is a plot of the antichrist beast to bring us all into subjection to him/them and to bring us, the people of the world, all into a one world order and one-world religion. The signs of this taking place right now are all over the place. This has been coming for a long time, and now we are seeing their tentacles reaching so much further than before.
Already they have managed to pull off preventing Christians from gathering together in person. For those of us on the internet, so far we are still able to gather here for fellowship, for prayer, for the teaching of the word, and for the encouragement of one another in our walks of faith. So, that is good.
Right now, we are still able to teach the whole counsel of God on the internet, too, though not on all sites, not even on all Christian sites, and prior to this, not even in all church congregations which met in person. For, the gospel of Jesus is under attack, and thieves and robbers have taken the gospel and have twisted it to say something it does not say. And, they are also bringing the true gospel into disrepute.
For now, at least here in America, we have the freedom to refute the lies and to proclaim the truth, but I don’t know for how much longer. There has been talk among politicians and religious leaders for some time now about breaking down barriers and forsaking everything which divides us as the people of the world, which would most certainly include forsaking the truth of the gospel which does divide people as saved and as unsaved.
So, this is where they are headed, for they want the people of the world to unify under one totalitarian regime and under a one world religion. And, I believe very much so that this pandemic with its draconian measures is one big steppingstone in bringing the world into that unification. So, don’t be surprised if sometime in the very near future if they begin censoring what we say on the internet. It appears they have already begun that somewhat.
But, and this is the bottom line in all of this, when it comes down to us obeying our leaders or not obeying them, it all has to do with whether or not they are requiring us to disobey God and his word. We must obey God rather than humans. We must keep speaking the truth in love. We must keep sharing the gospel of our salvation even if it means being persecuted, and even if it means going to jail, and even if it means death, too.
For, we are all going to die one day. And, the most important thing we can be doing in this life is sharing with other people the way to salvation from their slavery to sin and how they can live holy lives, pleasing to God, by God’s grace and in his power and strength.
We must be refuting the lies, too, for the lies are leading people away from true relationship with God to man-made religion based in the flesh of humans. The lies are telling them that they can be saved from their sins and have heaven guaranteed them, but that they don’t have to turn away from their sins, and they don’t have to obey the Lord, and they don’t have to submit to his Lordship over their lives. But that will end them in hell.
So, we need to tell them the truth that Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and that we might live to him and to his righteousness. He died, not just to forgive us our sins, but to deliver us out of our slavery to sin and to make us slaves of his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Pet. 2:24).
O Could I Speak the Matchless Worth
Author: Samuel Medley (1789)
O could I speak the matchless worth,
O could I sound the glories forth
Which in my Savior shine,
I’d soar, and touch the heav’nly strings,
and vie with Gabriel while he sings
in notes almost divine.
I’d sing the precious blood he spilt,
my ransom from the dreadful guilt
of sin, and wrath divine:
I’d sing his glorious righteousness,
in which all perfect, heav’nly dress
my soul shall ever shine.
I’d sing the characters he bears,
and all the forms of love he wears,
exalted on his throne:
in loftiest songs of sweetest praise,
I would to everlasting days
make all his glories known.
Well, the delightful day will come
when my dear Lord will bring me home,
and I shall see his face;
then with my Savior, Brother, Friend,
a blest eternity I’ll spend,
triumphant in his grace.
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